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Edge-Related Loss of Tree Phylogenetic Diversity in the Severely Fragmented Brazilian Atlantic Forest
 

Summary: Edge-Related Loss of Tree Phylogenetic Diversity in the
Severely Fragmented Brazilian Atlantic Forest
Bra´ulio A. Santos1

, Vi´ctor Arroyo-Rodri´guez2
, Claudia E. Moreno3
, Marcelo Tabarelli1
1 Departamento de Bota^nica, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, 2 Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas, Universidad Nacional
Auto´noma de Me´xico, Morelia, Mexico, 3 Centro de Investigaciones Biolo´gicas, Universidad Auto´noma del Estado de Hidalgo, Pachuca, Mexico
Abstract
Deforestation and forest fragmentation are known major causes of nonrandom extinction, but there is no information about
their impact on the phylogenetic diversity of the remaining species assemblages. Using a large vegetation dataset from an
old hyper-fragmented landscape in the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest we assess whether the local extirpation of tree species
and functional impoverishment of tree assemblages reduce the phylogenetic diversity of the remaining tree assemblages.
We detected a significant loss of tree phylogenetic diversity in forest edges, but not in core areas of small (,80 ha) forest
fragments. This was attributed to a reduction of 11% in the average phylogenetic distance between any two randomly
chosen individuals from forest edges; an increase of 17% in the average phylogenetic distance to closest non-conspecific
relative for each individual in forest edges; and to the potential manifestation of late edge effects in the core areas of small
forest remnants. We found no evidence supporting fragmentation-induced phylogenetic clustering or evenness. This could
be explained by the low phylogenetic conservatism of key life-history traits corresponding to vulnerable species. Edge

  

Source: Arroyo Rodríguez, Víctor - Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology